2009's Prison Pit was an unadulterated smash hit upon its release at the 2009 Comic-Con International, and the balls-to-the-wall series returns with more action and mayhem like only Johnny Ryan can deliver — again starring CF, the shirtless outer space barbarian antihero who remains damned to the Prison Pit (a vast wasteland beneath the crust of a barren planet, populated by the worst of the worst, where violence is the only law and evil creatures roam free). In this second volume, CF tries to get revenge against the evil behemoth that took his arm, and then winds up playing an unwilling participant in an elaborate escape attempt from the Pit.
Prison Pit blends Ryan’s fascination with WWE wrestling, grindhouse cinema, first person action video games, Gary Panter’s “Jimbo” comics, and Kentaro Miura’s “Berserk” Manga into a brutal and often hilarious showcase of violence like no other comic book ever created.
104-page black & white 7.5" x 9.25" softcover • $14.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-379-8
This book is available with a signed bookplate as a FREE premium! The bookplate has been uniquely designed for this book, and each bookplate is printed on acid-free cardstock and hand-signed by the author. (Click here for more books available with signed bookplates.) Please select your preference above before adding the item to your shopping cart. Note: Signature plates are VERY limited in quantity and available only WHILE SUPPLIES LAST.
After Jaime’s two-part super-hero epic from Love and Rockets: New Stories #1 and #2, we return to the enthralling minutiae of the “Locas” cast’s lives for the first time in three years. In the main story "The Love Bunglers" (presented in two parts) Ray finally gets his date with Maggie: The couple goes to an art opening and to dinner, they discuss the crazy world of dreams, and Maggie asks Ray for a huge favor. Also in this volume, “Brown Town, Blue Sun,” a new installment in Jaime’s beloved “little kids” flashback series: A ten-year-old Maggie and her family move away from Hoppers to a desert ghost town…
And on the Gilbert side of the ledger, “Scarlet by Starlight” is a story of humans exploring alien terrain, one of whom gets caught up in the natives' mating season with a furry creature who bears a striking resemblance to Fritz (of High Soft Lisp fame). “Killer/Sad Girl/Star” picks up the “Sad Girl” character from LRNS #2, and how no one in her family takes her budding film career seriously.
• Review: "Remember that kid in school? The one with the pen sketchings on the back of his Trapper Keeper full of wicked violence and jagged lines? Ever wonder what happened to him? Well, he's Johnny Ryan and he's all grown up and making some of the most in your face comics today. Prison Pit is something you have to experience to believe. An artistic achievement in storytelling (most of the pages are wordless) on a pure guttural and simplistic level. Highly recommended for those of you who like a bit of dirt and grit with your comics." – Mark L. Miller, Ain't It Cool News
• Commentary: "My sit-down read of this Captain Easy volume is really the first time I’ve devoted much time to actually digesting the narrative of Crane’s work — and the first time I’ve really read and enjoyed an 'adventure' strip (unless you count Segar’s Popeye)." – Ben Towle
• Analysis: At The Manga Curmudgeon, David Welsh uses a sampling of critical reaction to Moto Hagio's A Drunken Dream and Other Stories to examine "the notion that the creative work of women, particularly when that work is created for women, is critically undervalued."
Make plans to visit Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery in Seattle this fall to catch up with the country's most challenging cartoonists, artists and writers. The coming weeks feature the some of the finest in the field.
This Saturday, September 11 finds Carol Tyler at the space for an art opening and book signing. On Saturday, October 9 we welcome the incomparable Dave Cooper for an exhibition of original art and book signing, joined by special guest Johnny Ryan. Saturday, October 30 features the triumphant return of Seattle native Charles Burns for a spooky Halloween reception celebrating his new book X'ed Out. Punk rock prevails on Saturday, November 13 as Zack Carlson signs copies of Destroy All Movies!!!: The Complete Guide to Punks on Film. And mark your calendars for Saturday, December 11 for Fantagraphics Bookstore's festive fourth anniversary gala — always one of the best bashes of the holiday season.
Don't miss any of these exciting appearances at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery, located at 1201 S. Vale Street in the heart of Seattle's historic Georgetown industrial arts district. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM. Phone 206.658.0110. See you all soon.
FANTAGRAPHICS ACQUIRES LOST ‘GRAPHIC NOVEL' BY WILLIAM S. BURROUGHS & ARTIST MALCOLM McNEILL
SEATTLE, WA, SEPT. 9, 2010 --- Fantagraphics Books is proud to announce the acquisition of the only graphic novel written by — and possibly the last unseen work of his to be published — the innovative Beat writer and Naked Lunch author, William S. Burroughs. This lost masterpiece, Ah Pook Is Here, created in collaboration with artist Malcolm McNeill in the 1970s, will be published in the summer of 2011 as a spectacularly packaged two-volume, hinged set, along with Observed While Falling, McNeill's memoir documenting his collaboration with one of America's most iconic authors.
Ah Pook Is Here first appeared in 1970 under the title The Unspeakable Mr. Hart as a monthly comic strip written by Burroughs and drawn by the British cartoonist and painter Malcolm McNeil in the English magazine Cyclops. When the publication folded, Burroughs and McNeill decided to develop the project into a full-length, Word/Image novel (the term "graphic novel" had not yet been coined). Burroughs was 56 at the time, McNeill 23.
The book was conceived as a single painting in which text and images were combined in whatever form seemed appropriate to the narrative. It was conceived as 120 continuous pages that would "fold out." Such a book was, at the time, unprecedented, and no publisher was willing to take a chance and publish a "graphic novel." Burroughs and McNeill finally abandoned the project after collaborating on it for 7 years.
"It is singularly appropriate that after championing literate comics and the graphic novel form for over 30 years, Fantagraphics Books should bring a literary collaboration between one of America's most distinctive writers and his exemplary hand-chosen artist to light," says Fantagraphics Publisher and acquiring editor Gary Groth.
Ah Pook Is Here is a consideration of time with respect to the differing perceptions of the ancient Maya and that of the current Western mindset. It was Burroughs' contention that both of these views result in systems of control in which the elite perpetuate its agendas at the expense of the people. They make time for themselves and through increasing measures of Control attempt to prolong the process indefinitely.
John Stanley Hart is the "Ugly American" or "Instrument of Control" - a billionaire newspaper tycoon obsessed with discovering the means for achieving immortality. Based on the formulae contained in rediscovered Mayan books he attempts to create a Media Control Machine using the images of Fear and Death. By increasing Control, however, he devalues time and invokes an implacable enemy: Ah Pook, the Mayan Death God. Young mutant heroes using the same Mayan formulae travel through time bringing biologic plagues from the remote past to destroy Hart and his Judeo/Christian temporal reality.
Ah Pook Is Here was an experiment, not just in terms of the form in which the idea was expressed but the possible effects the form might produce. Burroughs was preoccupied throughout his career with the fundamental nature of words and images, particularly with regard to their ability to transcend time. In the case of Ah Pook Is Here, the rapport between artist and writer produced results that confirmed that contention. Ah Pook is the kind of extrapolative, futuristic feat of imagination that a reader would expect from the author of Nova Express and The Ticket That Exploded — a mind-boggling tour de force, dramatizing outré theories with a science fiction patina.
The second book in the set is Observed While Falling, written by Malcolm McNeill, an account of the personal and creative interaction that defined the collaboration between the writer and the artist, the events surrounding it, and the reasons for its ultimate demise. McNeill describes his growing friendship with Burroughs and how their personal relationship affected their creative partnership. The book is written with insight and humor, and liberally sprinkled with the kind of the hilarious anecdotes one would expect working with a writer as original and eccentric as William S. Burroughs. It confirms the prescience of Ah Pook Is Here with respect to the contemporary graphic novel; Burroughs' exploration of the artistic potential of combining words and images was a revelation to the artist. The book offers new insights into Burroughs' working methods as well as how the two explored the possibilities of words and images working together to form the ambitious literary hybrid that they didn't know, at the time, was a harbinger of the 21st century's "graphic novel."
"Fantagraphics is honored to bring this major work into print and to publish what is quite possibly the last great work from one of America's most original prose stylists," added Groth. "Burroughs once said that 'The purpose of writing is to make it happen.' We are proud to make Ah Pook Is Here finally happen."
Richard Sala has created a blog with a special 13-page sneak peek at his upcoming graphic novel The Hidden, which is now available for pre-order. Originally scheduled for release this fall, the book is now slated for early next year. Richard apologizes for the delay and promises that this book will be a bit different than anything he's done before. Judging from the preview pages he's posted, it's going to be a doozy of a book!
Comic shops get their shipments on Thursday this week due to the U.S. holiday on Monday. Read on to see what comics-blog commentators are saying about this week's release, click the book link for more info and previews, and contact your local shop to confirm availability.
220-page full-color 9" x 12" hardcover • $39.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-358-3
"From Shadow to Light: The Life and Art of Mort Meskin is a swell-looking history of a little-examined and little-known Golden Age artist who is only just now getting his due. Author Steve Brower and Fantagraphics provide the education." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6
"Fantagraphics presents a 220-page, 9.5″ x 12.25″ hardcover career overview by Steven Brower (w’ Peter & Philip Meskin), no doubt with many illustrations included. Introduction by Jerry Robinson." – Joe McCulloch, Comics Comics
"...[A] lavishly illustrated and sampled history... Mort Meskin... was the only Golden Age artist other than Lou Fine to make a specific impression on me before I was a teen..." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter
Illustrious cartoonist Carol Tyler will appear this Saturday, September 11 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery to celebrate the publication of YOU'LL NEVER KNOW Book 2 with an art exhibition and book signing.
Tyler was among the early female practitioners of underground comix, creating remarkably revealing autobiographical narratives in a singular visual style. Her ongoing trilogy YOU’LL NEVER KNOW continues this tradition and has received broad critical acclaim. Of the first installment in the series, the New York Times commented, “It’s impossible not to compare You’ll Never Know with Art Spiegelman’s Maus.” Reviewing the latest volume, which debuts at Saturday’s event, Eric Scigliano of Seattle Metropolitan suggests, “Two famous precedents, Art Spiegelman’s Maus and Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis, seem almost one-dimensional by comparison.”
Join us on Saturday evening at the bookstore to meet this extraordinary artist. Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is located at 1201 S. Vale Street (at Airport Way S.) only minutes from downtown Seattle. Phone 206.658.0110. This event coincides with the lively Georgetown Art Attack featuring visual and performing arts events throughout the historic industrial arts corridor. (Saturday’s Art Attack includes our own Martin Bland with the Tom Price Desert Classic playing for the 7th annual “Beer Bust” breast cancer fundraiser at neighboring Smarty Pants, benefiting Gilda’s House Seattle.)
From the files, Item #1,075,763,294. Over the years, we've tried virtually every approach to "rejection" letters that I can think of: supreme diplomacy, false hope, honest criticism, scorched earth rejection, and everything in between. So I'm not sure which kind prompted this reply from an aspiring cartoonist*, but it makes me laugh every time I see it (it's been hanging on a basement wall for years):
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